Pragmatism as transition : historicity and hope in James, Dewey, and Rorty /

Main Author: Koopman, Colin.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Columbia University Press, c2009.
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Review by Choice Review

If there is a beating heart to the pragmatist philosophical movement, Koopman (Oregon) locates it in pragmatism's service for understanding transitions. Pragmatism's reputation for attacking the windmills of every rationalism and absolutism is well deserved. Devotees to the static and the perfect take pragmatism to be just a comic or tragic figure, but pragmatism always has done the dirty work of never letting the perfect stand in the way of the better. Koopman's fascinating readings of Emerson, James, Dewey, Putnam, Rorty, Brandom, Foucault, Bordieu, and Cavell offer sympathetic interpretations of these thinkers' common goal of showing intelligence at work in managing the ongoing and unfinished projects of common humanity. In chapters ranging across epistemology, ethical theory, cultural criticism, and political philosophy, Koopman gathers a unified interpretation of pragmatism as a refashioning of the tool of philosophy itself. Declaring the era of philosophical systematization to be over, Koopman calls for a new "third-wave" pragmatism of temporality, historicity, and growth. This may be the best general book about pragmatism in a decade. Summing Up: Essential. Academic libraries supporting lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. J. R. Shook University of Buffalo

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.